Naloxone/ pentazocine

Generic Name: naloxone/pentazocine (nal-OX-one/pen-TAZ-oh-seen)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Naloxone/pentazocine should only be taken by mouth. Life-threatening and sometimes fatal side effects may occur if naloxone/pentazocine is administered by injection.


Naloxone/ pentazocine is used for:

Treating moderate to severe pain.

Naloxone/pentazocine is an analgesic. It works in the brain to decrease pain.

Do NOT use naloxone/ pentazocine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in naloxone/pentazocine
  • you have diarrhea due to poisoning or to antibiotic medicines
  • you are dependent on narcotic medicines
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using naloxone/ pentazocine:

Some medical conditions may interact with naloxone/pentazocine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of blood or electrolyte problems, breathing or lung problems (eg, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), high blood pressure, heart problems, underactive thyroid, adrenal gland problems (eg, Addison disease), liver or kidney problems, an enlarged prostate gland, trouble urinating, a blockage of your bladder or urethra, gallbladder problems, the blood disease porphyria, or stomach or intestinal problems (eg, inflammatory bowel disease)
  • if you have a history of recent head injury, growths in the brain (eg, tumor), increased pressure in the brain, seizures, or muscle problems (eg, myasthenia gravis)
  • if you have a history of mental or mood problems, suicidal thoughts, or drug or alcohol abuse or dependence
  • if you have had a recent heart attack

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with naloxone/pentazocine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Barbiturate anesthetics (eg, thiopental), cimetidine, sibutramine, or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the risk of side effects, including severe drowsiness, severe breathing problems, seizures, or mental or mood changes, may be increased
  • Naltrexone because it may decrease naloxone/pentazocine's effectiveness
  • Methadone or narcotic pain medicine (eg, codeine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by naloxone/pentazocine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if naloxone/pentazocine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use naloxone/ pentazocine:

Use naloxone/pentazocine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take naloxone/pentazocine by mouth with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of naloxone/pentazocine and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your health care provider. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use naloxone/pentazocine.

Important safety information:

  • Naloxone/pentazocine may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use naloxone/pentazocine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using naloxone/pentazocine; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Naloxone/pentazocine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take naloxone/pentazocine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use naloxone/pentazocine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially decreased breathing and drowsiness.
  • Naloxone/pentazocine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if naloxone/pentazocine can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using naloxone/pentazocine while you are pregnant. Naloxone/pentazocine should be used with extreme caution in women delivering premature infants. It is not known if naloxone/pentazocine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use naloxone/pentazocine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Some people who use naloxone/pentazocine for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.

If you stop taking naloxone/pentazocine suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include anxiety; diarrhea; fever, runny nose, or sneezing; goose bumps and abnormal skin sensations; nausea; vomiting; pain; rigid muscles; rapid heartbeat; seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not there; shivering or tremors; sweating; and trouble sleeping.

Possible side effects of naloxone/ pentazocine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; flushing; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; sleeplessness; sweating; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); anxiety or nervousness; blurred vision or difficulty focusing your eyes; confusion; decreased urination; disorientation; fainting; fast heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; hallucination; mental or mood changes (eg, depression); red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; slow or shallow breathing.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include excessive drowsiness; severe dizziness; very slow and shallow breathing; very small pupils.

Proper storage of naloxone/pentazocine:

Store naloxone/pentazocine at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep naloxone/pentazocine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about naloxone/pentazocine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Naloxone/pentazocine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take naloxone/pentazocine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about naloxone/pentazocine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to naloxone/pentazocine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using naloxone/pentazocine.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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